International Incident - Cassiarite Manley Guarducci held hostage

Update: On November 22, 2008 Global TV News, Vancouver, BC ran a story that Discovery HD is producing an TV episode of "Paradise Lost" featuring Manley.

In the autumn of 1999 Cassiarite Manley Guarducci, son of Ciro & Anna Guarducci, was kidnapped in Nicaragua and held hostage. Here are some news reports found on the Internet.

Nicaraguan group makes demands in kidnapping of Canadian miner
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - An armed group that kidnapped a Canadian miner last month has made a ransom demand and asked the government to hand over disputed property and free its jailed members, a human rights group said Monday.

The Andres Castro United Front, made up of former leftist Sandinista fighters, kidnapped Manley Guarducci and a Nicaraguan soldier, on Sept 30.

They delivered their demands to the government Saturday, the independent Nicaraguan Human Rights Center said Monday.

In exchange for Guarducci's release, the group also demanded an unspecified ransom payment from the international firm Henconic, and ordered the company to rehire several fired workers and change certain labor policies.

The government, which considers the group of former fighters "criminal," had yet to respond to the requests.

Vilma Nunez, head of the human rights center, said negotiators were certain Guarducci and Rocha Sanchez were still alive. The Castro group sent a letter handwritten by Guarducci in which he responded to personal questions asked by his wife, Nunez said.

The leftist Sandinistas took power in Nicaragua in 1979, prompting a guerrilla war against U.S.-backed rightist forces. After a peace agreement in 1989, the Sandinistas lost federal elections.

Canadian free after 34 days in captivity in Nicaragua

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - A Canadian mining engineer and Nicaraguan soldier who had been held captive by a guerrilla group for 34 days were freed last Wednesday, a human rights group said.

The Nicaraguan Human Rights Center said Manley Guarducci of Canada and soldier Orlando Rocha were freed by the Andres Castro United Forces, which had seized the two men Sept. 30 at the Capitan mine near the town of Bonanza, some 185 miles (300 kms) northeast of the capital.

From http://w01.international.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.aspx?isRedirect=True&publication_id=377302&Language=E&docnumber=240

November 4, 1999 (4:05 p.m. EST) No. 240

CANADA WELCOMES RELEASE OF CANADIAN HOSTAGE IN NICARAGUA

Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) David Kilgour today welcomed the release, yesterday, of Manley Guarducci and Salvador Orlando Rocha Sanchez, who had been held captive in Nicaragua by a rebel group for more than one month. Both men were abducted on September 30 by the Frente Unido Andrs Castro. A Canadian citizen, Mr. Guarducci was working in Nicaragua for the Hemconic Nicaragua mining company. Mr. Sanchez is a member of the Nicaraguan army.

Mr. Kilgour commended the patience and co-operation of the Government of Nicaragua in dealing with this very difficult matter. "The Government of Nicaragua displayed outstanding humanitarian concern for the well-being of the hostages," added Mr. Kilgour.

In deploring kidnappings by rebel groups, Mr. Kilgour said, "Canada has been active in seeking greater international co-operation and action in dealing with this growing problem and we intend to further energize our efforts in the months ahead."

Secretary of State Kilgour attributed the release of the hostages to the successful co-operation between Canadian officials in San Jos and Managua, the Nicaraguan authorities, the Hemconic Nicaragua company, and local organizations that assisted in securing the arrangements for the release of Mr. Guarducci and Mr. Sanchez.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Tasha Stefanis
Office of the Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)
(613) 944-2162
Media Relations Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
(613) 995-1874

Excerpted from http://www.tulane.edu/~libweb/RESTRICTED/NICANEWS/1999_1011.txt

Nicaragua News Service Published by the Nicaragua Network Education Fund Volume 7, No. 41 October 11 - 17, 1999 By Paul Baker-Hernandez

Kidnapping of Canadian Could Impact Mining Communities

The kidnapping of Canadian mine engineer, Manley Guarducci and Nicaraguan soldier Salvador Rocha Sanchez, still unresolved after more than two weeks, is having consequences around Nicaragua. Don McErail, spokesperson for HEMCO, which runs the Bonanza mine in the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN), said that unless Guarducci is released, the mine will be closed, throwing 450 local people out of work, cutting off Bonanza's water supply and plunging the town into darkness. Over 350 collectives in surrounding communities which process the newly mined "broza" (gold mixed with sand) would also lose their employment, making a total of at least 7,000 people directly affected. Bonanza has been a mining town for 140 years, and has no other major source of employment.

As the remaining six Canadians were flown out, other internationals were also being called home from the "mining triangle" bounded by Bonanza, Siuna and Rosita. "Nicaragua itself is the biggest loser," maintained Jack Suthercand of HEMCO, "The kidnapping means Nicaragua now looks like a high-risk country to international investors. Outside companies always bring in their own people; if there's danger, they'll just go elsewhere." At least two other mining companies have pulled out of Nicaragua in recent years due to similar kidnappings.

Meantime the kidnappers, originally part of FUAC, the Andres Castro United Front, upped their ransom demands to US$1 million, a 12-fold increase; plus the release of jailed FUAC members. CENIDH, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, which had been pivotal in negotiations, has withdrawn, forbidden by its constitution from negotiating over money. The Aleman government has therefore stepped in, beefing up the military/police presence in the region, and giving the kidnappers till Sunday October 17 midnight to set the two men free.

Minister of Government, Rene Herrera, said, "Sunday is their last chance. Government power cannot be held hostage. We've promised that once the prisoners are set free, we'll begin negotiations over the fulfillment of the accords we reached with their captors two years ago." However, Defense Minister Jose Antonio Alvarado, emphasized that if the deadline was not met, military force would not necessarily be the next step. He was "pinning his hopes on patience and on the negotiating mission of former FUAC leader, Camilo Turcios," sent as a special emissary to find his former comrades-in-arms. What Turcios has been authorized to offer has not been disclosed. (El Nuevo Diario, La Prensa, La Tribuna, October 12-17)

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